Jaideep Shergill: Barack Obama: An officer and a gentleman!

02 Jan,2017

By Jaideep Shergill


Sorry everyone. I know I was to have packed my bags and moved to Bhutan. Refer to my previous article if you had missed that one! Just as I was about to head out of the door and leave 2016 behind, I chanced upon a Huffington Post article titled “55 Reasons Obama Will Go Down as One of Our Best Presidents”


The reasons go from his scandal-free terms to his winning the Nobel Prize to the capture and end of Osama Bin Laden.

Now I have heard of the Top 5 or Top 10 of lists, but 55 reasons! That’s like putting Obama next to god himself. I ruminated a bit more and decided to put the Obama legacy in perspective as a non-American looking in from the outside.

For starters, I for one will really miss him!

I fondly remember when Obama first ran for President as it was then the first big political campaign launched using the digital/social media and for us communications folks, it meant a big learning and opportunity on how to best use social media. I remember how big it was back then.

Having since followed nearly all the major and minor commentary about his presidency and devouring everything thrown my way like a classical news junkie, I can only say that my admiration and respect for President Obama has since multiplied manifold.

One of the first things I want to espouse is the fallacy of the jingoistic propaganda which many countries around the world continue to push and that is the end of the US and rise of other countries. There are of course economic and political reasons for this propaganda but it’s also symptomatic of human kind since the dawn of time. We tend to have a mechanism to self-destruct and also love pulling down those ahead of us. Both of this traits are constant and operate in a Mobius strip like way. However, it’s important for all my friends who push this agenda to remember that in a globalised world, the failure of America means immediate fallouts and ramifications everywhere. Remember 2008-2009?

The fact is that the stars were already misaligned when Obama came to the White House because the constant pressure from within and outside America, from the losers and jingoists respectively had reached its peak in terms of timing and crescendo in terms of white noise.

History now shows us that President Obama didn’t even stand a chance when he was sworn in. The Republican “old boys club” had already decided to stop him at every step he took. This was an effect of clear racistbehaviour and the avarice towards Obama in particular. To make matters worse, the markets crashed, the legacy US auto industry nearly became extinct and things just continued to spiral out of control for the then newly sworn in President. Contradicting the rules of engagement of bi-partisan politics, the Republicans in the House and Senate continued to stymie his agenda and blocked everything he tried to do right from the start and every day after.

While President Obama struggled with these domestic rivals, a bunch of countries started flexing their muscles after being driven on by nationalistic rhetoric that America was too powerful and must be brought down- Russia, China and scores of others lined up to find a way to dent the already worsening situation for Obama. Of course, let’s not forget that while all this was going on radicalisation and terrorism was morphing into an all new and harder to arrest strain of virus.

Now considering that President Obama had the cards stacked against him and the dominos falling from the get go, it’s a miracle how he not only survived but grew in stature over his eight years and two terms. In fact, he will end his time in office as one of the most popular presidents of the United States of America and he has made countless friends and allies all over the world. And to think he didn’t stand a chance when he came to office.

So while there are at least 55 (or more) reasons for why Obama will go down as one of the best Presidents of the USA, here’s what made him what he is:

– A true officer and gentleman, committed to the cause and unwavering in his belief system.

– Incorruptible, morally upright and scrupulous whilst being apolitical.

– A genuine friend of the people of his country and the world at large.

– A man with a great sense of humour and candour.

– A loving parent and husband.


As they say in America, “they don’t make ’em like that anymore!”


Barack Obama, you will well and truly be missed!


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